Much has been written about Tang Jai Yoo, one of the trio of 80-plus year-old Taechiu (Chaozhou/Chiuchow/潮州) restaurants located at the intersection of Thanon Phat Sai and Thanon Yaowaphanit, off Thanon Yaowarat, the main thoroughfare of Bangkok’s Chinatown/Samphaeng. The other two restaurants are Sin Kwang Meng and Jim Jim - all three restaurants have almost identical menus, but tend to do certain dishes better than their rivals.
Tang Jai Yoo came into the attention of farangs when Anthony Bourdain featured it in his No Reservations TV program. Before that, the only customers going in there are almost exclusively Thai-Taechiu.
Live crabs at Tang Jai Yoo, waiting to be selected as your entrée:
Back at Tang Jai Yoo on Christmas Day for lunch.
- Oyster omelette (Hoy tord) - one of the best in town for Taechiu-style oyster omelettes, with the largish local oysters so much-beloved by the Taechius. My only complaint is the Thai Sriracha sauce served as a dip - it’s waaay too mild for Singaporean/Malaysian tastes - we need something with a real “chilli” kick, not some children’s ketchup which Sriracha basically is
Local oysters used for omelettes - same as those in Penang, Malacca and Singapore
Cold mutton ham in aspic, served with a side of tinned asparagus and smothered with mayonnaise. It’s a retro dish which harks back to the 1950s, and is a staple in Sin Kwang Meng and Jim Jim as well. Done very well here in Tang Jai Yoo.
Khao pad puu (crabmeat fried rice). Superb rendition here, with generous amounts of lump crabmeat.
“Hae cho” - crisp-fried crabmeat-pork balls wrapped in beancurd sheets. Very tasty rendition, served with a plum dip.
Vegetarian version of “kway tiau Rad Na”. Not a fan of vegetarian food, but my lunch companions loved it.
Taechiu-style stewed vegetables. Very tasty, as various pickled/preserved vegetables were used to give the overall stew a complex flavour. Delish.
“Kung fu cha”, very strong, bitter-tasting tea served at the end of Taechiu meals as a disgestif. Usually, these are served in tiny cups and each diner will down at least 2 cups each.
Dessert: “oh nee”, the perennial favourite Taechiu mashed, candied yam dessert. The luxe version here contained boiled lotus seeds, glutinous rice (a Thai preference), candied red dates and waterchestnut. Absolutely loved this.
- Candied yam sticks - another popular Taechiu yam sweet. Superb rendition here
Tang Jai Yoo
85-87 Soi Yaowaphanit, off Thanon Yaowarat
Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100
Tel: +662224 2167
Opening hours: 11am-2pm, 5.30pm-11pm daily.